Beijing 2022 is a success but West wants to rewrite reality at Olympics
Published: Feb 19, 2022 02:02 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

For the West, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are not just an international sporting event celebrating humanity's perseverance in coming together for a shared future in the face of a global pandemic. It is an opportunity to rewrite reality and forge a new Chinese threat.

Perhaps I had simply deluded myself when I thought that the Western media machine would cool down erroneous and unfair reporting on China during the Olympics, celebrating and honoring a near century old international sporting tradition. After all, just last year Chinese media had celebrated the delayed Summer Olympics in Japan, regardless of any tensions between both nations.

With the ongoing "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Olympics by a handful of Western nations, most notably the US and the UK, the stakes are high, and the West is hoping for the Beijing Olympics to be a failure. China is as powerful and prosperous as ever, growing rapidly in the face of COVID-19, whilst the US and Europe continue to lose control over their own outbreaks and their citizens continue to suffer.

This disparity has fueled a barrage of anti-China media reporting over the last couple of years. Leading to a significant rise in anti-Asian, and more specifically sinophobic hate crimes in the West. The narrative on China has been hijacked by bad-actors. Never has this been more clear and more noticeable than with the Beijing Winter Olympics. It is clear that this is a targeted and organized effort to attack and discredit China, fueled by vitriol and hate, with reality being re-written in the process.

Reporters have hurled hatred at Olympians like Eileen Gu (Gu Ailing), Zhu Yi, even athletes from their own nations for speaking about how great the Olympics have been for them. Racist and sinophobic accusations of being in it for money have become widespread, fueling racism in the West. Perhaps the most egregious example being the choice to slam China for choosing Dinigeer Yilamujiang to light the Olympic cauldron. An ethnic Uygur skier who was delighted to be given such an opportunity. Western media refused to even acknowledge her as more than "an athlete with a Uygur name," calling the choice ''controversial.''

There is, of course, nothing controversial about this choice. Uygurs are one of the 56 recognized ethnicities in China, and the choice to have her light the flame is a beacon that has inspired the residents of Xinjiang, including her Uygur compatriots, to find a new interest in winter sports.

Recently, the US Holocaust museum even went so far as to compare the 1936 Olympics by Nazi Germany to the 2022 Olympics. I wouldn't even go as far as calling this egregious. It's utterly insulting, not only to China, but to the millions of Jews that lost their lives in the holocaust that the museum claims to speak for. 

Baseless accusations about Xinjiang have permeated discussion about the Olympics, something that is utterly deplorable and defeats the spirits of the Games. If the US holocaust museum truly cared about the so-called abuses against Muslims, they would have spoken out against the many verified war crimes and abuses perpetrated against the Muslim population. Once again, these accusations are an attempt by Western media to rewrite reality and paint China as a threat.

Other reporters have also taken to twitter to blast China for maintaining its commitment to zero-COVID and the safety of all athletes during the Games. Going as far as calling PPE equipment, social distancing and sanitization "dystopian," with one reporter even deciding that the friendly customer service at a chocolate fountain embodied a notable part of just how "dystopian" the Olympics are. It is clear that the media doesn't just want the Olympics to be a failure, but an example of the so-called threat China poses to the world.

This is not the reality of the Beijing Olympics, no matter how hard the West tries to rewrite it. In fact, the reality is that the Olympics have been a resounding success, showing China as a beacon of hope in a world that the West continues to try to push into a new Cold War. After all, the motto of this Winter Olympics is "together for a shared future."

Despite 91 countries and regions participating in the Games this year, China has managed to keep the Games safe, an example of the successful Chinese zero-COVID strategy in action. This has been the best Winter Olympics for China in history, with Chinese citizens developing a newfound interest in learning winter sports. Viewership has been record-breaking globally, and despite the "diplomatic boycott," the Games are set to become the most watched in US history. This is also the first Olympic games where all venues will be powered by renewable energy.

Argentina has just joined the belt and road initiative and Imran Khan and Xi Jinping inked a new agreement on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Xi and Putin also made a joint statement directly calling out Western leaders and endorsing a new, more cooperative, multipolar world. All at the Olympics.

With US athletes and other athletes from abroad all praising China's "stellar job," as Aaron Blunck put it, the Western media narrative has started to fall apart. It is simply impossible to suggest the Olympics are or will be a failure. China has shown its commitment to a progressive, cooperative and truly equitable world.

It should be clear to all. Not only has the West given up on reporting facts about China, the Western media has also given up on reporting reality at this point. It is our job as citizens of the world to hold the media accountable for their clearly biased reporting. Not only to hold Western media to better standards, but to protect society from the hatred and sinophobia that is spread by such erroneous reporting. 

The author is an independent researcher on the Chinese economy and foreign relations. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn